Bill here. Sit down…this will take a while to be thorough.
First I want to say “thank you” for praying for us while we were away. Satan was working diligently at stopping the good work God had for us to do. Thanks to the prayers of the saints and the grace of God, we were both able to push on through sickness.
The reason for the trip I participated in was Business as Mission. (See “What is Missional Business”) The following are who were involved and why:
- Mission ONE – Mission ONE supports key leaders and teams of national (or indigenous) evangelists and church planters in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. These teams conduct evangelism, church planting and holistic ministry among unreached peoples, those who have little or no access to hearing the gospel of Christ. Mission ONE’s latest focus is the Vision 20/20 program. Its goal is to assist all their national ministry partners to become financially self-sustaining through Missional Businesses by the year 2020.
- IBEC Ventures – IBEC helps build sustainable businesses through consultative expertise to change lives and transform communities. Their vision is an increasing number of small-to-medium sustainable Kingdom businesses with a special emphasis on areas that are both economically impoverished and spiritually unreached.
- And Me – My purpose in going was to observe and perhaps add to the discussions with MissionOne’s partners as they seek to create holistic and sustainable Kingdom businesses to the glory of God.
The goal for this trip was to discuss the Vision 20/20 program with the national partners gathered from surrounding areas. Each of them had previously been given a questionnaire to fill out that would help us to help them with Missional Business ideas and/or business plans.
My trip to Kenya was the single most eye-opening and encouraging experience of my life. I wasn’t surprised by the poverty or how the people deal with hunger daily, but rather, I was deeply moved by how devoted they are to God and how they rely on Him so completely in the midst of it. I was also surprised to see how in- tune they are to the need for Missional Business and to how essential it has become in spreading the gospel effectively throughout the world today.
During the 8-day trip from Nairobi to Eldoret to Kisumu and back to Nairobi again, the Vision 20/20 plan was well-received by all the partners. Our time together was priceless and I can’t tell you what a pleasure it was to work with such Christ-centered business people who truly place the mission of God before all else in their business dealings. The most important point as we reviewed different business ideas was defining how the gospel would be spread through each concept presented.
Then, I left Nairobi to meet up with Patti in Rome before heading home together. Patti’s evangelism efforts in Italy were amazing and now its her turn to share.
( Patti) THANK YOU SO MUCH to all of you who invested in prayer both for me and for the 4 precious ladies with whom I intended to share the Truth of the Gospel. I am in awe of and grateful for the ways in which the Holy Spirit orchestrated the circumstances of my days. He went before me and prepared the soil of the hearts who would receive the seed of the Gospel. He set up Divine Appointments everywhere I went each day… on the street, in the train, in the grocery store, at coffee bars…yes, even in (my personal favorite) an ice cream shop. 🙂 He instigated encounters and conversations and questions in ways I never could have done!
While sidelined by sickness in a small town the first 2 days, I got to have deep and meaningful conversations with several people (FABULOUS stories of how God set up these opportunities! Ask me about the B&B owner…and the “flagpole”… and the sculptor!) investing time and sharing the Gospel with them in significant ways. I now have many new friends there, strategic relationships for the Kingdom, and many seeds were sown. May they be watered and bear fruit unto Salvation! And even in the midst of the worst of my sickness, during the long hours of one sleepless night … I was blessed with a rare and deep experience in intercession… praying/declaring over the city and over the lives of a few I had interacted with. Praise God!
Then, on to the town I had lived in for 4 years and individual time with “my girls”.
One girl’s heart was so ripe. It had been 11 years since I had seen her. I couldn’t believe that within 5 minutes of our meeting and in the middle of the espresso bar, the conversation turned to Christ! Then we sat in her car for over 2 hours outside a store we intended to go into. She practically pulled explanations out of me with question after question and honest introspection and tears. She decided to begin reading the Bible. I am compiling some resources in Italian for her. Unfortunately, there are so few.
Another listened to me and allowed me to share the Truth…but didn’t HEAR. She didn’t receive it. Our relationship is open and loving and we stay in regular contact, so I can only keep praying for a change. Wealth and beauty and comfort and status…the pride of life…are powerful distractions from the enemy.
The third precious lady received the Word with joy, and said she believes that she does already know Jesus. Then immediately after that comment, our private conversation was abruptly interrupted by a crowd of people flooding into the small kitchen, so I was unable to further that line of discussion and confirm it with prayer. We, too, are in regular contact and I’m praying for her to have the time soon for a follow-up phone conversation. I know she believes in God and wants to follow Him to the best of her present knowledge. And He is graciously leading her “in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake”! To be continued!
And the fourth, well that’s just another amazing story of how the Holy Spirit opened up conversation and caused her to listen….through circumstances I NEVER could have imagined or strategized myself. She is very confused …broken…closed to the religion she sees all around her…and seeking truth in new age teachers/gurus. Although she loves me deeply, she never would listen or talk about Jesus with me. This time – God used her beloved boyfriend to be the catalyst. I’d love to share the story with you! But as this man asked all the questions and discussed many topics with me….she listened —through all of a long lunch together…and then intentionally continued again at dinner and late into the evening.
In fact, in all the years I lived there and was particularly close to this last girl’s family, I never had such opportunities with them as I had in these few brief days. In a room with all her siblings, I was able to pray over her brother who is undergoing chemotherapy. He had never heard a spontaneous prayer before! He said he had expected me to pray a recited prayer like the “Our Father” when I asked if I could pray for him! All were in tears after hearing a heartfelt discourse with the Father! And I was even able to frankly share the need for Jesus (and the difference between religion and relationship) with a young lady in the family who was only 8 when I left, and with her mother. If you only knew how this meeting in itself was a miracle. How I Praise God for all He is doing and for using me to call to these that He loves!
Of course I am continuing to pray for all these with whom I connected during that week and to continue in intentional relationship with many. I am praying for their understanding of sin and God’s true plan of salvation! For freedom from religious and other strongholds. And I’m praying about the possibility of doing a discipleship course with any of these ladies, thanks to the wonders of modern technology.
For those who love pictures and more details… COME ON OVER! We’ll feed you AND have Show-and- Tell!! 🙂 And Bill will love to tell you more about the precious saints who impacted his life.
More news to come soon as we’ll report about another trip.
That His Name be praised in ALL the earth…
Bill & Patti Kics